As I said on another forum, "rehabilitate" seems about as appropriate in this
instance as "amnesty" does to describe the "rehabilitation" of Polish nationals
who had been forcibly deported from their homes in the Kresy to all over the
Soviet Union.This appears to be a general approach of the Soviet/Russian
authorities, who pretend that the innocent had committed some crime and now were
being forgiven. It may be a way to cagily admit "error" rather than criminal
responsibility or financial liability. This seems evident from, "... "I'm
convinced that we'll manage to find a formula which will satisfy the relatives
of the victims and will not be contrary to Russian law," said Alexander
So, the Russians will admit that the victims of these murders - let's not allow
them to dignify the criminal act with the term "executions" - were blameless,
without admitting that the Russian perpetrators did anything wrong or illegal.
This will help them continue to stonewall any attempt to bring the criminal
murderers to justice. It will also hinder seeking compensation for families of
Sault Ste Marie, Canada
1940 Katyn massacre victims to be ‘rehabilitated’?
Poland has reacted positively to an announcement that Russia may rehabilitate
22,000 Polish officers killed in the 1940 Katyn massacre.
“We’re happy to hear this declaration and hope that concrete action will
follow,” said Marcin Bosacki, a spokesman at the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw.
Russian ambassador Alexander Alexeyev has told the Interfax news agency that the
Kremlin was considering the rehabilitation of the massacred Polish officers who
were killed by Stalin’s security service officers for being enemies of the
“We’re looking at the possibility of rehabilitation of the executed Polish
officers. I’m convinced that we’ll manage to find a formula which will satisfy
the relatives of the victims and will not be contrary to Russian law,” said
The move will be welcomed in Poland as part of a thaw in Polish-Russian
relations and a sign of an increased acceptance of Stalin’s crimes.
Russia accepts responsibility
Russia only accepted that the massacre was the responsibility of Stalin’s
officers after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Up until then,
Moscow blamed the Nazis for the deaths of the Polish officers.
Ambassador Alexander Alexeyev points to several measures recently which have
clarified Stalin’s role in the massacre.
“Russia has repeatedly condemned the Katyn massacre, adopted a resolution on it
and declassified some of the Katyn files. Poland has already received 137 out of
183 investigative volumes,” Alexeyev said.
The ambassador added that the 1940 Katyn massacre should not hinder
Polish-Russian relations any longer.
“It’s important to leave the Katyn case to historians and lawyers so that it
doesn’t complicate political relations between our two countries and doesn’t
create an opportunity for those who are not interested in their development,”
More than 22,000 Polish officers were murdered by the NKVD in the spring of
1940, most famously in the forest of Katyn. Relatives of the victims and human
rights organizations have demanded that the dead officers are recognized as
victims of political reprisals and officially rehabilitated.
This April, Poland’s president Bronislaw Komorowski is going to Katyn to
commemorate the Polish victims on 71st anniversary of the massacre.
Russian media report that President Dmitry Medvedev will also participate in the
ceremony and predict that the head of the Russian state may announce that the
Katyn files will be fully declassified and that the victims will be fully
In November, the Russian parliament (Duma) adopted a resolution on the Katyn
massacre, recognizing the murder of Polish officers in 1940 as a Stalinist
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